There are some lightweight red kettles in Jackson County, and the Salvation Army is hoping they can get beefed up before Christmas.
“We have quite a deficit,” said Salvation Army of Jackson County Corps Officer Lt. Brian Hicks, referring to Jackson County’s Red Kettle Campaign for 2016.
Specifically, that deficit is $49,000.
“We have a goal of $125,000,” he said.
Kettles are up and volunteers are ringing until Christmas Eve, and that’s how long Hicks said they have to reach their goal.
“We’re actually at more locations this year. It just about people donating,” he said.
Ocean Springs donations are “on par,” he said, adding that “Ocean Springs is always our biggest area.” It’s the Pascagoula sites seeking individual contributions that are way down on donations and the ones where Hicks hopes more people will contribute.
In addition to helping the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program, donations from the Red Kettle drive — the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser each year — go to help people in Jackson County throughout the year.
“We have a homeless shelter. We have a huge homeless population. We offer utility assistance, vital records assistance and some prescription assistance,” he said.
Assistance with vital records includes acquiring physical birth certificates, Social Security cards and other proof of identity.
“That’s a big need among the homeless,” Hicks said. “Vital records like those are needed to apply for a job, and if you don’t have them, you can’t seek employment.”
In addition to giving money donations at Red Kettle locations, donors can visit the Salvation Army’s Jackson County office at 3217 Nathan Hale Ave. in Pascagoula between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; the Salvation Army’s shelter is open 24 hours a day.